Blast from the Past: 2009
Barrowsiders’ late surge drains Dynamo
Arlington AFC 3 Dynamo Town 2
For much of this tie it looked odds on that Arlington were going to suffer back-to-back defeats inside a week in this tier. The previous Monday Arlington had looked set for at least a share of the spoils against neighbours Emo Celtic with strikes from Adrian Woods and Mick Murphy. A late, late Emo winner was to cruelly deny the Barrowsiders however. For all of the opening hour Portlaoise side Dynamo looked set fair for victory before a plethora of Arlington substitutions had the desired effect and revived the host’s quest for victory.
Right from the off Dynamo’s bright sparks seemed to have the legs on the hosts. An early PJ Garland strike though saved by Paul Dempsey seemed a portent of what lay ahead for a lacklustre home side. The visitors from Portlaoise got the lead goal their enterprising brand of football deserved just ten minutes in. Paul McCormack floated his free some thirty-five yards out on the left touchline and Barry Dunne was on hand at the backpost to bundle his shot home. The visitors then handed their hosts a gift minutes later when conceding a penalty for handball. Brian O’ Connell strode up and showed quick reflexes to steer home the rebound when James Maher saved the initial spot kick. Despite being pegged back Dynamo continued to dominate in the fading minutes of the opening half. The visiting side almost restored their lead just before the break but Dempsey pulled off a marvellous save to keep out Gordon Conroy’s goal-bound effort.
The concluding half opened with the Portlaoise side still on the attack. A sublime through ball from Conor O’ Leary saw Conroy race away then angle his left-footed shot between keeper and far post to regain the lead for Dynamo. With O’ Leary, McCormack and Barry Dunne all controlling the game’s tempo there seemed no way back for Arlington. The hosts; slowly but surely, began to claw their way back into the contest however. A spectacular Declan Geoghegan shot from distance was just tipped over in no-less dramatic fashion by Maher. This seemed to kickstart Arlington’s revival. Then Johnny Doris fired over a pin-point corner but the hosts didn’t anticipate its flight nor attack it at the backpost.
With Doris now sparking his teamates around him into life the Barrowsiders began to use their plentiful supply of substitutes adroitly. Arlington’s purple patch saw a dramatic equaliser as Eugene Geoghehan flighted his chip all the way to the back of the Dynamo net. Declan Geoghegan then pulled his shot when clear through on goal. Both Eugene Deegan and Barry Dunne then went close as Dynamo tried to fight the rising Arlington tide. Alas for the visitors their efforts were in vain as Arlington’s late surge was capped off with a spectacular winning goal. A great finish from Alan Johnson set the seal late on for a vital Barrowsiders’ win. Not content with their newly-minted lead a curling Brian O’Connell shot almost doubled Arlington’s lead in the dying seconds. Dynamo broke upfield but neat interplay between O’ Leary and Dunne should have resulted in a last-gasp equaliser. A relieved home side then cheered match official Eddie McDonnell’s final whistle.
For an exultant Arlington side the Geoghegan boys; Declan and Eugene, Brian O’ Connell and Johnny Doris did most to ensure the win. For a luckless Dynamo outfit Barry Dunne, Paul McCormack, Anthony Hitchcock and Gordon Conroy all stood out.
Arlington AFC squad: Paul Dempsey; Declan Coughlan, Kieran Nolan, Mark Lawlor, Declan Geoghegan, Robert Floody, Richard Confrey, Brian O’ Connell, Johnny Doris, Eugene Geoghegan, Mick Murphy, Ken Guiden, Alan Johnson, Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Joe Coleman
Dynamo Town squad: James Maher, Niall Cunningham, PJ Garland, Anthony Hitchcock, Conor O’ Leary, Richard Reid, Paul McCormack, Barry Dunne, Niall Donovan, Eugene Deegan, Anthony Dunne, Gordon Conroy